Last night was the first night of the Battleground Louisiana: Civil War Events and Experiences program at the (Winnsboro) Franklin Parish Public Library sponsored by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. The librarian, Emily Arnold, told me it was a record crowd for the library with 41 in attendance. This is a pilot program, but dealt with a topic that had been requested by library patrons for years. We’re off to a good start.
I introduced the series and topic, went through the syllabus, and tested the waters of my audience. I found them receptive, polite, intelligent, and extremely interested in the topic. I knew a few people in the audience, and the discussion was lively and pro-South. My kind of people. Many of them had already read the five books for the series (these are mentioned in a previous post). I am learning so much as I read and work through the selected books, and though there is a good deal of work involved, I am so excited to be a part of this program. It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since the play I wrote for Franklin Parish, Just Scratchin’ the Surface, was performed at the Princess Theatre. I remember the many Saturdays I had spent in the library researching the play. The librarian said she certainly wanted to include me and my upcoming children’s book, Jim Limber Davis: A Black Orphan in the Confederate White House, in their summer reading program for children.
After nights like this, I am happy and proud to be thought of as a Southern writer.